SUNAPEE — Peter Thibault of Newport received Mount Royal Academy’s highest award during their commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 9.
The Sempter Altius is awarded to a student who demonstrates academic, moral and spiritual excellence.
“As we watch our students mature we see their progress,” said Latin and literature teacher Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian, “and we offer this award to a student who has made the greatest progress towards these ideals.”
“It feels really good to be recognized,” said Thibault. “This is the culmination of years of hard work so it is an honor.”
Thibault will study history at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, in the fall.
In addition to being an accomplished student, Thibault participated in Newport athletics throughout high school.
Thibault played lineman for the football team and competed in track and field. In 2016 he became the first thrower in Newport High history to earn a spot at the New England Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
As President of the National Honor Society, Thibault addressed the graduating class.
In his remarks, he encouraged his classmates to be the best versions of themselves, serve as an example to others and follow the charge of “sempter altiuis”— always aim higher.
Classmate Kolbe Bocko, president of Student Government and recipient of a leadership award, also spoke.
Bocko highlighted the life lessons students learned, subject-by-subject, at Mount Royal.
He concluded with a quote from Dr. Kalpakgian that left an indelible impression on him.
“’Do your duty consciously and good things will happen. No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has a duty to uphold. Just get it done.’”
The graduating class includes 10 students, six of which have committed to a four-year college.
The students seeking higher education include Joshua Griffin, SNHU; Alexander Normandin, Franciscan University of Steubenville; Leonidas Souliotis, SNHU; Ezekiel Swenson, UNH and Peter Yost, UNH.
The remaining four graduates are entering the U.S. Armed Services. New Hampshire State Police Trooper Michael McLaughlin recognized them by calling them up to the stage.
Those students and their chosen branches include Kolbe Bocko, U.S. Marines; Rosalie Boyd, U.S. Army; Scott Boyd, U.S. Army and Gabriel Edwards, U.S. Air Force.
They received a standing ovation from the audience.
The Class of 2022 also included 10 students.
Headmaster Derek Tremblay noted that between the Class of 2018 and 2022 there were two female students.
“Don’t feel bad for them,” he said. “I sure don’t think they feel bad for themselves.”
Professor Scott Sollom on Franciscan University provided the keynote address. Tremblay met Sollom at a professional development seminar in 2017.
“I was so taken with what was going on here at this particular school that I was thrilled to be invited back,” said Sollom.
Sollom’s address highlighted that the word “commencement” means “to be made anew.” The word was also once associated with initiating priests.
With that in mind, Sollom encouraged the graduates to allow themselves to be made anew through both commencement and communion.
Tremblay closed with a word of thanks to former headmaster David Thibault, who was in attendance for his son’s graduation.
Mount Royal has graduated 87 students since 2003 with 70 of those graduates coming after 2010 when the school committed to the PreK-12 education model.
Those who received the academic excellence award in the Class of 2018 included Kolbe Bocko, Joshua Griffin, Peter Thibault and Alexander Normandin.
Those who received the academic excellence award in the Class of 2022 included Samuel Hebert, Caleb North, Liam Ouellette, James Thibault and Vinzenz Vingl.